PM Schols: BMX cyclist Sarah Walker

For BMX silver medallist Sarah Walker, trying to fit in study with all the other components happening in her life was always going to be a challenge.  

Not content with just being a high performance professional athlete, Sarah and her partner also took on the challenge of designing and building their own home (right on the back door of the local BMX track where she trains). 

This identified a real passion for the industry, so she sat down with Athlete Life Advisor Criss Strange and looked at the options that might fit in with her training and sporting commitments. 

"Criss understands how I work as an athlete and student so we work together to come up with the best plan for the year," Sarah explains. 

Interior Decorating and Design didn't just seem to be the perfect course, but studying at the Open Polytech also meant there was freedom to fit the course in around recovering from shoulder surgery, and events such as the upcoming World Championships in Auckland later this year.

"It means I can focus on the course when I have the time, but get the focus back to BMX when I need to," she says.  

The Prime Minister's Athlete Scholarship helps to cover her course costs and contribute to day to day living expenses through the study support allowance available.

Previously Sarah has used her scholarship to study short courses (including to be a fitness instructor, gain a HT driver's licence, and study Business Computing) allowing her to get experience in different areas without effecting her training.